Vatican sets up emails, hashtag to send birthday greetings to Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY—Even though Pope Francis was planning a “normal” workday for his birthday, well-wishers can help brighten it up with special tweets and emails.

The pontiff turns 80 on Dec. 17 and plans to start the day with Mass together with cardinals living in Rome, according to the Vatican press office. The Vatican made the announcement Dec. 13, which is the anniversary of the pope’s ordination to the priesthood in 1969.

“The rest of the day will be ‘normal,’ loaded with appointments,” it said.

People can tweet messages using the hashtag #Pontifex80 or send an email according to their preferred language, including Latin.

* (English)

* (Spanish/Portuguese)

* (French)

* (Polish)

* (German)

* (Italian)

* (Latin)

By Carol Glatz / Catholic News Service

CNS/L’Osservatore Romano: Pope Francis blows out a candle on a birthday cake presented by a young member of the Italian branch of Catholic Action during an audience with the group at the Vatican on Dec. 17, 2015, when the pontiff celebrated his 79th birthday.